Blue plaque honours GP’s legacy

​​​​​​​A pioneering doctor, whose campaigning led to general practice being recognised as a medical discipline, has been celebrated with a blue plaque.

Professor Richard Scott was the world’s first Professor of General Practice and a leading figure in Edinburgh’s medical community.

He established a general practice in the Royal Public Dispensary in the city’s south side – now Mackenzie House – for teaching medical students and promoting research in general practice.

Community health

A blue plaque is to be installed on the building to commemorate his achievements in highlighting the role that generalist doctors can play in the health of a community.

His work helped to show that the relationship between a person and a GP is invaluable to that person’s health. He is credited as having improved the lives of patients around the world.

World first

Scott, who was born in 1914, graduated from Edinburgh Medical School in 1936 and received his MD in 1938.

Following war service he returned to Edinburgh and gained the Diploma in Public Health, quickly becoming a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Public Health and Social Medicine.

In 1963 he was appointed to the James Mackenzie Chair of Medicine in Relation to General Practice, the first position of its kind.

Founding member

He was also a member of the Foundation Committee for the Royal College of General Practitioners and became the first Honorary Secretary of its Scottish Council in 1953.

He served as Chairman from 1972 until 1975.

Professor Richard Scott's legacy is vast. It is right that the University that gave the world so many giants of medicine will particularly celebrate him for an incalculable contribution to the lives of us all.

Dr Miles MackChair of Royal College of General Practitioners Scotland

Related links

Edinburgh Medical School

Royal College of General Practitioners